Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things That Make Me Happy

Today I checked Google Analytics for the first time in a while and saw that:
1. There are more of you reading than I thought
2. Someone found this site by searching for "swinging testicles." That's funny in its own right, but then I got to thinking about what would make someone search for swinging testicles and found it even funnier.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Things I Have Forgotten to Blog About

1. Remember how I was going to finish up what I thought of the inauguration? Yeah, I didn't do that, but how do you sum it up in words? I still get teary seeing the pictures. Let's just say that I'm quite happy with what President Obama's been doing with his time lately, particularly doing away with the Global Gag Rule. Also, check this out on the official white house site. A lot of this won't effect me over here in yuppie whiteyville, but it's heartening to see everything laid out so cleanly. I love the paid sick days bit and wish we, as a country, could take a serious look at revising FMLA.

2. Things I Have Been Readin':
* White Teeth: I loved this book so much and was actually sad to finish it. How does she write like this? On Beauty was wonderful, and like that novel, the characters in this book are so textured and rich and sometimes unlikable. It makes me feel embarassed about my pathetic little essays.

* Then We Came To The End: I heard so many good things about this that I expected to love it. I found it hard to read because I felt like I was at work and not in a good way. The narration trick was interesting, but overall, I was more disturbed than amused. This probably says a lot about my company culture.

* The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege: A relatively short read, but an interesting look at being part of the problem. In reading the comments on Amazon, it looks like people either loved or hated it.

* Rereading Bird by Bird: I read this during college and loved it. Speaking so differently to me now. More on this later.

3. LOST! It's back. This show always has a way of making me feel like I am mentally deficient in multiple ways, but I love it so. Diva has a good recap.

4. More about the good and bad with Zygote. I don't want to turn this into an all-about-pregnancy blog, but there are some real highs and lows. Belly pic to hold you over.

5. Kate Harding's article on Salon. I loved the article, as I love most of the stuff that she writes, but I spent too much time reading through the comments and it just gets me depressed. Why is this such a hot button issue for people? Why do people object to a larger person being okay with his or her size? This excerpt of a comment just makes me cringe:

I think "mocking" is an "appropriate" reaction to make people change. The food is too available to friendly tell someone to not eat it. It's ridiculous to even try to do so. So I honestly think that the best way to approach it, at this point, is to attach a stigma to fatness. Hopefully if people are embarrassed about eating fatty foods they won't do so.

Right. Because fat never had a stigma attached to it before, AND shaming is the best way of getting people to change. :-I

6. My brother wrote about saving shit a while back and I was going to write about how I have the same weird habit and have shoe boxes filled with letters, cards, ticket stubs, deflated birthday balloons and broken Christmas ornaments. I had to move a lot of this stuff from its repository to make room for Zygote's new things and realized that in the 8 times I've moved in the past decade, I've moved ALL this shit with me. I did a massive reorg and threw away the following:

* Birthday cards that were not attached to any particular birthday and just had signatures at the end
* To-do lists circa 1999
* A garbage bag with arm holes cut into it that I used during a rainstorm in Niagara Falls
* The "wedding notebook" from my first wedding
* More deflated balloons that I can count

Things I kept:
* All the love letters I've ever received, now categorized by giver
* Letters that NN and I exchanged during summers in college, and letters that BB sent to me while I was in London
* An essay that I wrote in first grade on that weird green paper little kids write on titled, "The New Baby" about when my sister was born
* Dried roses from the caskets of my grandparents' funerals. Is this weird and morbid? I don't know.
* Prayer cards. I'm a good Italian.
* My Sept. 11 box. I was living in Brooklyn on 9/11/01 and was well on my way to work in NJ when the attacks happened. I couldn't get back to my apartment so I stayed with my parents. I had none of my stuff so I went to CVS and bought deoderant, a toothbrush, concealer, mascara and lip gloss and some sort of Caboodle-like box to keep it in. I only used the stuff for the few days I stayed with them and never touched it again. I don't want to throw it away. Or use it.
* All my old journals including the one Mrs. Forcella had me start in 4th grade.

7. Forgetting to blog about forgetting to blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back in The People's Republic With My Writing Assignments

Well, I made it back from NJ. I feel slightly guilty whenever I go down to visit because there are so many people that I want to see and hang out with, but I almost never plan ahead. This time I was attempting to help out my mom and work full-time and watch a gazillion hours of inauguration coverage, while being exhausted at the same time, so my biggest trip out was to Target. People here always laugh when I say I'm from NJ, but Target, and strip malls with good parking, is just one of the many things I miss. If I wanted to go to Target here, it's a huge pain in the ass. Back in the Whip, it took me a half hour and I was able to pick up 3lb hand weights, cat litter, cranberry juice, two new bras for the pregnancy tits of doom and new body wash. And I was able to park near the door. So suck on that, Jersey haters.

I got back in time for class on Thursday night, and still feeling the Obama message of hope and inspiration, I told myself that I was going to write or journal or blog every day. You see how well that has gone. We did have an assignment, though, that was relatively easy and one that I'm having a little fun with. Each student had to put two sentences in a hat, and then the instructors picked them out and made us free write for two minutes on each one. We only got through two, but it proved that I didn't always have to be "writing very important thoughts" to just freakin' do it.

* I'm happy to be in a writing class again. I don't like my day job. Or I do, but it's not my passion. I was supposed to be a writer, but I got lost somewhere along the way. Unfortunately, I never developed any alternate career plan beyond "be a writer" so I've just stayed in the easiest place to pay the bills.

* I have no brilliant sentences in my mind this evening. (BTW, this was my contribution, in all its grammatical incorrect-ness, to the hat) I'm in a writing class, presumably, where I want to be and I'm at a loss. Have I ever done anything interesting? Or met someone relatively engaging? Apparently not, because I am struggling to come up with that one brilliant sentence that captures all my wit, intellect and charm in between one capital letter and one period, and as usual, I fall flat.

I have about 18 more to play with. It reminds me of an exercise we used to do in Mr. Lamb's Language Arts class. He would have us power write -- writing without picking your pen off the paper -- for 10 minutes at the beginning of every class. Most of my shit was really mundane, but looking through it, almost 16 years later, there are little bits of details about people that I forgot, people that I would want to pepper any story about those hideous high school years if I ever were to tell them.

Maybe something will come out of all of this after all.

In baby-related news, I'm pretty sure that I'm feeling Zygote kicking. For weeks, I was having an internal monolouge that went something like "Is that the baby or am I going to fart?" or "Is that the baby or is that Chipotle?" I'm pretty sure that it's the baby. I hope one day to pass this lovely story down to my future child, about how I mixed up my offspring, my own flesh and blood with the rumblings of a chicken burrito with extra black beans and guacamole. I now have to go watch Wife Swap or Stage Moms to remind myself that I will not be a terrible parent.